Judea under Persian Rule

In 539 B.C., King Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon, and a year later he announced that any exiled Jews who wanted to return to their homeland could do so (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2). A contingent of Jews under the leadership of Zerubbabel did return (Ezra 1:3-2:70) and established the minor Persian province of Judea within the larger province called Beyond the River (referring to the Euphrates River). This small province was much smaller than the kingdom of Judah before the exile, partially due to the migration of Edomites (now called Idumeans) into the region just south of Judea, where they too formed a new province.

download hi-res file